India R. Scott is a parent and advocate who lives in Kent County.
We can’t be so consumed with just the recent state results information that we forget we are working within an outdated educational funding system. We can’t continue to operate in a thought process with unrealistic expectations.
We want our children to receive a better experience and receive the education that they deserve. We want to send our children to school in a climate where we don’t have to worry whether they will make it home safely or without an emergency room visit. We would like teachers to be safe within the school environment, as well, to make it home without injury or without being so stressed/burnt-out that they cannot make it work the next day.
It’s several layers upon layers that make up a successful academic school year for everyone.
State of Delaware education funding system
The current education funding system in Delaware has been in place since the 1940s. The Delaware model does not adequately reflect the current needs of our children for special education services, free or reduced lunch and other support that is needed for students to be successful in the classroom.
One of the key parent goals for this year could be to get more involved with your child’s education, starting with attending one school board meeting a marking period. Every district within Kent County should have a working speaker system, so all participants can actually hear the board speaking while within a board of education meeting.
If there is an expectation for any student or parent to abide by the rules within a student and parent handbook, then it should be provided in paper form and on the school district website at the very beginning of the school year. Parents have to sit their children down before the school year begins so that the student expectations can be discussed. The conversation begins at home. A good percentage of behavior issues with students start at home and continue when they go to school.
Lastly, school districts and the Department of Education need to be accountable. Some of the regulations and policies are outdated or not followed as written. It is going to be important that we all take a real interest in addressing the issues identified in the Department of Education that students and parents have been experiencing. We can start with the Delaware Public Education Ombudsperson Program, an independent advocacy agency that assists families and other community members with educational needs and concerns.